These Colorful Milk Crates Are My Favorite On-Trend Storage Solution

Instagram made me buy them—and I'm so glad I did.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

HAY plastic crates on bookshelf

I used to have a strong aversion to any type of plastic storage. Even when I was in college, when plastic storage drawers were a mainstay in almost every dorm room, I opted for wooden crates and an IKEA utility cart—things that, to me, were just as practical, but much more aesthetically pleasing. I'm someone who finds joy in carefully curating every inch and corner of my home, so I avoid items that are purely about function, which is always what plastic storage furniture represented in my mind. However, I've recently had a change of heart, thanks to HAY's Instagram-worthy plastic crates.

The crates are made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic and come in three different sizes and 19 different colors. I love how they combine the retro, utilitarian look of a milk crate with a wide range of modern colors—from soft pastels to rich earth tones.

I currently have three of them on my bookshelf—two small, in mint and tan, and one large, in dark blue. I use them to corral a number of items that were previously crowding a random drawer or cluttering up surfaces in my room: my extra skincare products, stacks of sentimental photos and cards, and my art and sewing supplies.

Since storage space in my apartment is limited, and my bedroom closet and dresser are completely maxed-out, I don't have the luxury of hiding away all my miscellaneous items behind closed doors. So, it's been a game changer for me to find a storage solution that I don't mind having out on display, and that can work with—not against—my decor.

I finally got these crates after seeing them all over Instagram for quite a while—and it's a trendy purchase I haven't once regretted. Many people online have used the crates, as I do, to add tidy storage and visual interest to a bookshelf. But there are endless, creative ways to use them for both storage and decor.

Some people have used them as stackable shoe bins, incorporated them into an open-sided coffee table to function as drawers, or even attached them to a bicycle to work like a makeshift basket. The company also offers lids and casters that can be used to transform the crates into a portable side table.

Hay Crate Nightstand

To me, these crates are a perfect example of modern design that focuses equally on function and form. Better yet, they don't break the bank. The small crates are $7, the medium are $14, and the large are $39. (You can also find similar options at Urban Outfitters and Amazon.)

Hay Crates

While these crates have been trending for a while now, I think they have major staying power, thanks to their simple yet colorful design. Not to mention, staying organized is always in style—and having cheerful items like these around have helped me be more motivated to get the job done.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles